State of the hotel: Conflicted
Welcome to 1100 Pennsylvania, a newsletter devoted to President Donald Trump’s Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C. (and his other companies). President Trump, of course, still owns his businesses and can profit from them.
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State of the hotel: Conflicted
Outsourcing an introduction of what happened during the State of the Union at Trump Hotel D.C. to the hotel itself (via Maggie Haberman of The New York Times):
Sen. Rand Paul (R–KY) pre-partied at the hotel with the president and CEO of a political PR firm, Adam Matthew Weiss of AMW Public Relations.
An intern at the National Legal Aid and Defender Association who’s also a lobbyist for Cahill Strategies watched the “State of the Union, DC style!” She mingled with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and former Trump administration spokesperson Sean Spicer. As interns/lobbyists usually do during a State of the Union.
“Not just any picture—Rudy Giuliani. Former Mayor of New York and Attorney to President Trump.”
Hotel co-owner Donald Trump Jr., who is walled off from his father’s administration, co-hosted a fundraiser for the America First Action super PAC with his girlfriend, vice chairwoman of pro-Trump nonprofit America First Policies, Kimberly Guilfoyle (per Alex Isenstadt of Politico).
“Casually ran into Don Jr., as you do” (well, if you’re patronizing the Trump Hotel D.C. on SOTU night anyway).
Eric Bolling’s live SOTU after-show from the hotel was streamed for free on Blaze TV, Facebook, and YouTube, ensuring plenty of free advertising for the president’s hotel.
Bolling also just outright plugged the president’s hotel bar.
Lewandowski and current Trump campaign staffer Katrina Pierson appeared on Bolling’s livestream.
The hotel’s bartenders may have overserved Spicer, who appeared with Bolling, via Cristina López G. of Media Matters. Writers for The Hollywood Reporter and Mediaite also questioned Spicer’s sobriety. [Because of a formatting limitation, select the link to watch the videos.]
Guilfoyle posed with policy advisor for the pro-Trump nonprofit America First Policies, Martha Boneta, and Fox News advertiser/Trump business regular, the My Pillow guy, Mike Lindell.
Boneta received a U.S. Navy lieutenant commander challenge coin—which you can buy for $12.95 on Amazon—at the commander-in-chief’s hotel. She was honored. Boneta also was given a medal from the Iowa Narcotics Officers’ Association.
Thumbs up from Boneta and Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk.
Special advisor at the Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency, Catalina Lauf, was all smiles with Fox News pundit and Trump campaign advisor, Harlan Hill, and supervising producer/booker at The Hill, Jessica Grose.
Members of George W. Bush’s administration gathered at the current president’s hotel, including Jamal Nelson. He worked at the Department of Commerce; now he’s a lobbyist.
Former Breitbart London editor-in-chief and current ally of Nigel Farage and Steve Bannon, Raheem Kassam and Hill want you to know they started at U-S-A chant.
Sputnik radio host Lee Stranahan, mentioned in Robert Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russian military officers was attending something at the hotel’s bar.
A thankful Jen Kerns of The Hill and The Daily Caller bashed Hillary Clinton’s supporters from the lobby of the leader of her patriotic party.
A political advertising account executive at iHeartMedia was there too.
A biker for Trump wore his “swamp police” patch to the president’s hotel to watch the president’s SOTU address.
Lobbyist David P. checked in on Swarm.
Also, spotted: a fancy MAGA clutch.
But remember, customers select the Trump Hotel D.C. because of its location, service, and all-around luxury—not the hotel’s owner.
Institute of International Bankers not returning
After holdings its annual Washington conference in the U.S. president’s hotel last year, the Institute of International Bankers will not be returning in 2019. Instead it opted for the Ritz-Carlton in D.C.’s West End.
“We just like to shake it up a bit,” said Andy Lebron, the IIB’s member services and events registration coordinator. “We’ve been to the Ritz before.”
Because of its location, last year’s event likely garnered more media attention than the conference usually receives. Additionally FOIA requests were sent for information regarding the visits of U.S. government official who attended.
Donald J. Trump for President Inc. spent $926.53 in December 2018 at the Trump Old Post Office LLC doing business as the Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C.
Other Trump Organization news
“These secret files show how the Trump Moscow talks unfolded while Trump heaped praise on Putin” by Azeen Ghorayshi, Jason Leopold, Anthony Cormier, and Emma Loop for BuzzFeed News
“New York federal prosecutors seek interviews with Trump Organization executives” by Erica Orden and Cristina Alesci for CNN
“Trump golf courses may have employed hundreds of undocumented workers, says lawyer” by Marcus Baram for Fast Company
“Trump’s travel to Mar-a-Lago alone probably cost taxpayers more than $64 million” by Philip Bump for The Washington Post
“Donald Trump’s Scottish finances just got even more interesting” by Martyn McLaughlin for The Scotsman
“President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address included a sweet spotlight on Grace Eline, a 10-year old girl who, at an early age, asked for donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital instead of presents…The plug for St. Jude on national television came two days before Trump’s son, Eric, and his his wife Lara are set to co-chair a $750 per ticket dinner dance gala at Mar-a-Lago, the former Eric Trump Foundation benefiting St. Jude.” by Alexandra Clough for The Palm Beach Post
"Europe’s [self-proclaimed] leading retail services group owned by PGA Professionals,” TGI Golf Partnerships, held a business conference at Trump Turnberry
Trump Org EVP Eric Trump, who is walled off from his father’s administration, appeared on Fox News last night to share his thoughts on his father’s SOTU address
House investigations, current status (latest change, Feb. 1, 2019)
Financial Services—Sent an inquiry to Deutsche Bank AG on its ties to Trump, according to the bank on Jan. 24.
Foreign Affairs—Chair Elliot Engel (D–NY) “plans to investigate whether President Donald Trump’s businesses are driving foreign policy decisions, including whether Trump violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution in the process” per CNN on Jan 23.
Intelligence—Sent an inquiry to Deutsche Bank AG on its ties to Trump, according to the bank on Jan. 24.
Oversight and Reform—Chair Elijah Cummings’s (D–MD) staff “has already sent out 51 letters to government officials, the White House, and the Trump Organization asking for documents related to investigations that the committee may launch,” according to CBS News on Jan. 13.
Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management—Transportation committee chair Rep. Peter DeFazio (D–OR) and subcommittee chair Dina Titus (D–NV) sent a letter to GSA administrator Emily Murphy on Jan. 22 asking for all communication between the GSA and the members of the Trump family dating back to 2015, an explanation of how the hotel calculates its profits, profit statements since the hotel opened in 2016, any guidance from the White House regarding the lease, and whether or not Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are recused from participating in decisions regarding the property. DeFazio and Titus requested a reply by Feb. 8. When hearings begin, it is likely that Murphy will be the first person called to testify, according to a person familiar with the subcommittee’s plans.
Ways and Means subcommittee on Oversight—The subcommittee, chaired by Rep. John Lewis (D–GA), is holding a hearing on “legislative proposals and tax law related to presidential and vice-presidential tax returns” on Feb. 7.
Legal cases, current status (latest change, Feb. 4, 2019)
D.C. and MD attorneys general’s emoluments lawsuit (district court docket, appellate court docket)—
Official capacity—On Dec. 20, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled it would hear the president’s appeal of district court rulings that allowed the case to proceed to discovery, and the appellate court halted discovery in the case. (Discovery had started Dec. 3 and was scheduled to run through Aug. 2, 2019, with the AGs already having issued 38 subpoenas, including to the Trump Organization; the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, and Treasury and the GSA; and the state of Maine.) Oral arguments on the appeal are scheduled for March 19.
Individual capacity—On Dec. 14, Trump’s personal attorneys appealed the denial of their motion to dismiss the case, also to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. On Dec. 19, the AGs replied to Trump’s motion for a stay pending that appeal by voluntarily dismissing the claims against Trump in his “individual capacity to allow the claims against President Trump in his official capacity to move forward expeditiously.” (The AGs only brought suit against Trump in his individual capacity after the judge suggested they do so.) Trump’s personal attorneys, on Dec. 21, opposed the motion to dismiss at the district level, saying the appeals court now has jurisdiction and accusing the AGs of “gamesmanship.”
196 Democratic senators and representatives’ emoluments lawsuit—On Sept. 28 judge Emmet G. Sullivan ruled that the legislators have standing to sue. Trump’s Justice Department attorneys filed an interlocutory appeal on Oct. 22. And on Jan. 30, 2019 the plaintiffs’ filed a notice of supplemental authority, notifying the court of the GSA inspector general’s report that criticized GSA for failing to consider if the Trump Hotel D.C.’s lease was in compliance with the U.S. Constitution after Donald Trump became president. Two days later, the president’s attorneys argued that the IG’s conclusion was not inconsistent with Trump’s argument, but that the judge should ignore that report anyway because the IG has no expertise in interpreting or applying the foreign emoluments clause.
CREW et. al’s emoluments lawsuit—In February, CREW appealed its suit being dismissed for lack of standing to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Oral arguments on that motion were held on Oct. 30.
Cork’s unfair competition lawsuit—Judge Richard J. Leon dismissed the case on Nov. 26, writing “Cork has failed to state a claim for unfair competition under D.C. law.” On Dec. 10, Cork’s attorneys filed a notice of appeal and on Jan. 10 they submitted a statement of issues to be raised. The next steps, which don’t yet have a timeline, include a briefing schedule being set and both sides filing appellate briefs.
Employees’ class-action suit alleging racial discrimination—Two of the three plaintiffs did not appear at a status hearing on Jan. 25; their cases were moved to arbitration. Via email, their attorney, A.J. Dhali, said his clients did not appear at the hearing because their case already had been moved to arbitration last year. The next status hearing is scheduled for Oct. 4.
Health inspections, current status (latest change, Aug. 10, 2018)
❌Hotel: five violations on May 7, 2018; two were corrected on site
❌BLT Prime and Benjamin Bar: nine violations on Aug. 10, 2018
❌Sushi Nakazawa: two violations on Aug. 10, 2018
✔️Banquet kitchen: no violations on Aug. 10, 2018
❌Pastry kitchen: two violations on Aug. 10, 2018
✔️Gift shop: no violations on May 7, 2018
❌Employee kitchen and in-room dining: five violations on Aug. 10, 2018; two were corrected on site
One thing that has nothing to do with Trump’s businesses (I think, tough to tell sometimes!)
John Scott was the professional hockey player that every fan loved to hate. A tough guy. A brawler. A goon. But when an impish pundit named Puck Daddy called on fans to vote for Scott to play alongside the world’s greatest players in the NHL All-Star Game, Scott found himself facing off against fans, commentators, and the powers that be. Was this the realization of Scott’s childhood dreams? Or a nightmarish prank gone too far? Today on Radiolab, a goof on a goon turns into a parable of the agony and the ecstasy of the internet, and democracy in the age of Boaty McBoatface.
Thanks for reading. If you like what you see, tell someone—and support this work by becoming a paying member ($5/month or $50/year). If you’ve been forwarded this newsletter, subscribe for yourself at zacheverson.substack.com. Questions? Read our FAQ/manifesto. Tips or feedback? Contact me, Zach Everson, securely via email at 1100Pennsylvania@protonmail.com or on Signal at 202.804.2744.